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26-30 - Rangers get just close enough to tease victory, still lose

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Rougned Odor and Jonathan Lucroy combine to strand 11 baserunners in 6-5 loss to Houston

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

There have been two players that I always coveted on other teams and wished the Rangers would acquire and then they actually did. One is Adrian Beltre and he's basically the best third baseman in baseball history and will go into the Hall of Fame a Texas Ranger. The other is Jonathan Lucroy.

I mean, truthfully, I wanted Buster Posey. We all want Buster Posey. But Lucroy always seemed attainable and just a notch or two below Buster. And also, Jonathan Lucroy was kind of the folk hero of the pitch framing movement.

Instead, here, now, within like four months of actual game time as a Ranger, I've grown to hate watching him play.

Astoundingly he's become my mental whipping boy. I can't help myself from noting every ball in the dirt that squirts by, every stab at a pitch that could have been called a strike, every strikeout at the plate, every two hop groundout to shortstop. I hate that this is the case because I've dreamed of having him here for years!

I did not foresee this at all. Coming into the season, Lucroy was considered the second best catcher in the sport and though Texas paid a ton to get him, part of the reason for that was they would have him for this season as well as the final few months of 2016.

Now, just two months into this season, the Rangers on games after a day off are opting for a guy who basically learned to play catcher on the fly and Yu Darvish didn't want to throw to behind the dish. The impression is that the Rangers think Robinson Chirinos is a better catcher now.

Tonight, Lucroy struck out to end an inning with the potential go-ahead runners on base twice, and Rougned Odor also did the same before him. To make matters worse for Odor, he struck out to end the game with the tying run on base.

This is basically the entire story of Rangers at the plate in 2017. Neither of those guys coming through isn't surprising at all in 2017 now, but I'd argue that Lucroy not coming through should be surprising and instead has become depressing.

Player of the Game: Elvis Andrus continued his torrid pace by going 3-for-4 with three of the five Rangers RBIs, a walk, stolen base, and two runs scored. Elvis is now batting .305 as his OPS sits at .825.

Up Next: The Rangers and Astros close out this series with Martin Perez set to face RHP Brad Peacock. First pitch from Arlington is scheduled for 2:05 pm CT.